Russia invades Ukraine {2022-02-24}

I’m curious what Russia is using? Attacking a drone with aircraft doesn’t seem like a good use of resources. (Swatting a bee with a shovel.)They must have anti-drone weapons.

ISW June 22 Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, June 22 | Institute for the Study of War

Light anti-aircraft weapons would work. Like small SAM missile systems.

Given the damage the drones have caused, it wouldn’t really be disproportionate to use heavy SAM systems if they’re available and nothing else can stop the drone before it can (presumably) deliver its warload.

I think the US must be extremely concerned about vulnerabilities with the MQ-1C Gray Eagle and Switch blade drones.

The pucker factor for US military planers must be a 10. Millions of dollars and years of research went into these drones. A few weeks of combat and US Drones are already getting shot down?

I saw a photo of a Switch blade drone that successfully attacked. The circuit board was intact. Some of the chips may have fried, but reverse engineering is a concern.
Testing NATO weapons is an obvious concern against Russian weapon systems.
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/ukrainian-fighter-pilots-call-bullshit-on-need-for-mq-1c-gray-eagle-drones

Circuit boards mostly intact.

I tried disabling that Bulgarian link. Time out got me. I don’t feel good about it. I closed all my Tabs and cleared cache. Rebooted phone

Better to be safe. Those photos can be found on Ukrainian news sites

Mod killed the link. Thanks!

Upgraded Pantsir and Tor-M2 systems modified for anti-drone duties have been reported in the press. But beyond that they have other light systems like the Strela (mounted and MANPADs). They also have mobile electronic jammers.

Really Russia has no lack of anti-drone options. Just as with in so many other areas they seem to have botched support during the initial invasion. Could be they are just finally getting their shit together, particularly now that they are concentrating on more static fronts where they are taking time to build up overwhelming force rather than trying highly mobile penetrations on the fly. Makes thing easier logistically when they are trying to slowly pound one area into dust rather than blitzing down a road.

US forces would use better tactics. For example, lay down suppressing fire before launching the drone. I would expect US drone operators get extensive tactical training. We used drones very sucessfully in Afghanistan. A lot of the antipersonnel targets never saw the danger until it went bang.

Why do you think this would be a shock to anyone?

State of the art technology? The switchblade is suppose to be top tier. AFAIK we didn’t have a large drone loss in Afghanistan and we fought there 20 years.

I did see an article last week that the guidance systems are a security concern. They’re supposed to be switching it for older tech. Russia will certainly capture a few drones.

You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. Afghanistan didn’t have any anti-air capability. Switchblades are kamikaze drones that are supposed to be destroyed. Drones have far far exceeded expectations in Ukraine. It was previously though that they could not operate at all in a contested environment but they’ve shown to be at least somewhat effective.

I agree my knowledge is limited. The recent Ukrainian statements about heavy drone losses in Donbas concerns me.

That could be NATO troops depending on those drones.

I’ll let others with actual knowledge comment. I’m just looking at it from the sidelines.

A lot of the drones being used are small commercial ones.

Link [Limited articles]:

These small drones can provide airborne reconnaissance ability down to individual squad level, and they’ve also been adapted to drop explosive rounds on enemy directly below them. Even a single MANPADS shot costs tens of thousands of dollars, many times more than the cost of a cheap drone.

Cheap drones have helped identify targets. It made a significant difference in the wars early weeks.

I wonder if this conflict could eventually do the same thing for advancements in drone tech that WWII did for aircraft tech?

I have this image of an autonomous drone being sent out into enemy space to seek out and engage targets with no input from an operator (other than maybe a final go/no go order).

Beserkers/Borg?

I’m replaying Horizon: Zero Dawn at the moment, and so I would like to recommend against this idea of autonomous military robots. Even if it does lead to hunting robot dinosaurs with bow and arrow 900 years later.

“Isn’t it just amazing how a century-and-a-half of science fiction did nothing to swerve our species from the path of doom?”

Now would be the time to develop lightweight nonweaponized drones which mimic the weaponized ones. Send, say, four nonweaponized drones along with each weaponized one. Which would force the enemy to expand more AA rounds.

Why not just send five weaponized ones ? “Mimics” could be made lighter and cheaper.

“You MUST keep the enemy confused.” Jasper Maskelyne.

When the use of hobby drones by amateur pilots was first mentioned, I thought of how easy it would be to weaponise one. Put a tube through the fuselage (assuming a fixed wing design, probably purpose built), the diameter of which will fit a hand grenade with the spoon attached. Have a mechanism to keep the grenade from falling out. Pull the pin, and insert the grenade and spoon into the tube. Figure out how high to fly for the four- or five-second delay. When the grenade is released, the spoon pops off and the striker hits the primer that lights the fuse.

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The quadcopter-type drones are better for dropping munitions as they can hover in one position. From watching videos, I’d estimate they’re accurate enough to hit a target within a meter from a height of hundreds of feet in the air.